Bahrain strikes its biggest oil field, dwarfing current reserves

A desert oil field in the Sakhir area of Bahrain. The country ranks 57th in the list of oil producers. Photograph: Hasan Jamali/AP


Bahrain has discovered its biggest oil field in more than 80 years.

The “highly significant” oil and deep gas resource is thought to dwarf the Gulf kingdom’s current reserves, according to an official announcement on Sunday. It is located in the Khaleej al-Bahrain basin, located off the country’s west coast.

“Initial analysis demonstrates the find is at substantial levels, capable of supporting the long-term extraction of tight oil [light crude] and deep gas,” said Bahrain’s minister of oil, Shaikh Mohamed bin Khalifa al-Khalifa.

The reserves were discovered during the last three months of 2017 after Bahrain intensified its search for new fossil fuel deposits. Further details of the find’s size and extraction viability will be released on Wednesday.

Bahrain is currently a minnow in the oil sector, ranked 57 on the list of biggest producers by the US Energy Information Administration. It pumps about 45,000 barrels of oil a day from its Bahrain Field, according to Bloomberg data. In comparison, Saudi Arabia is aiming to keep its production levels below 10m barrels a day in April.

Industry consultants DeGolyer and MacNaughton (Demac) have worked with Bahrain officials to evaluate the deposits at the Khaleej al-Bahrain basin.

“Demac evaluated the reservoir and test data, evaluated volumetric and recovery potential, and provided reports documenting both prospective and contingent resources. This is a project which breaks new ground for the industry,” a spokesperson said.


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